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December 5, 2005

http://www.forbes.com/markets/2005/12/01/zingy-mobile-content-1201markets13.html

Zingy Founder Steps Down
Peter Kafka, 12.01.05, 5:02 PM ET

The founder of one of the best-known players in the high-flying ringtone business has left the company he started. Fabrice Grinda, who started mobile-content company Zingy in 2001 and sold it to Japan- based For-Side.com last year, left the company on Wednesday. Chief Operating Officer Andy Volanakis is serving as interim chief executive.

Grinda is well-regarded in the mobile-content industry for having the foresight to start Zingy, which makes most of its money managing and selling ring tones, when the market barely existed. He is also thought to have made a significant profit when he sold the company to For-Side, which owns a conglomerate of mobile-content companies in Asia, the U.S. and Europe.

“It’s been four-and-a-half years, and I’ve taken this company everywhere I can take it,” Grinda said. Zingy officials responded to requests for comment with a written statement thanking Grinda “for his contribution in making Zingy the leader in mobile media.”

People familiar with the company said Grinda had differed with his new owners over plans for Zingy’s future. For-Side management, which is aiming to roll up several of its subsidiaries and take them public, has been focused on maintaining margins and limiting expenses, while Grinda had wanted to expand Zingy by adding new product lines and buy acquiring other companies, sources said.

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